International Purchases vs Local Purchases

Hello ūüôā Today I am going to discuss how I calculate reasonable international purchases vs local ones.

If at all possible I prefer to buy my inks/pens locally, you receive it faster, don’t have to pay additional VAT and/or import tax, not to mention the shipping fees. Unfortunately, the ink/pen that you want is not always available or is ridiculously priced – and in those cases importing it tends to be my only option.

When importing I look at the following points:

Is the product available via a South African company?

No – Import is the only option.

Yes РIs the product priced the same/similarly as in other countries? IE: £5.95 vs $12.95 vs R139.00

Yes – Purchase locally.
No – Will the product work out cheaper to import myself?
Yes – Import product myself.
No – Purchase locally.

In the example below I will be using Diamine Red Dragon, this example includes delivery to either the nearest post office or straight to your door.

Want It All

(Local Website – that has been around for ages)

(Door to Door Delivery)

Diamine Red Dragon 80ml x 1 = R 1583.00

Want It All Payment Screen

Want It All Payment Screen

Write Gear (Local Website – recent addition)
(Door to Door Delivery)

Diamine Red Dragon 80ml x 1 = R 189.00

Write Gear Pay Screen

Write Gear Pay Screen

Pure Pens (UK)
(To the nearest Post Office)

Diamine Red Dragon 80ml x 1 = £ 9.87

£ 9.87 x R 17.56(current exchange rate) = R 174.76
+ 14% VAT = R 199.22
+ R 30 Sapo Handling Fee = R 229.22
+ R 22.92 10% Customs Tarrif (Even though technically fountain pen ink is is duty free – but just in case)

= R 252.14

Pure Pens Pay Screen

Pure Pens Pay Screen

So in this case I would buy the product from Write Gear, if the colour or brand I wanted was not available then Pure Pens would be my next go to option. I’m pretty sure all of you can see why I wouldn’t even consider Want It All…

I should mention, international websites tend to ship to South Africa extremely fast. Additionally the packages also arrive in South Africa in a few days. The problem is our very own Post Office and Customs. If there are no strikes and backlogs I have had parcels from Pure Pens arrive in about ten days. On the other had I recently waited seventy six days for a parcel to be processed by SAPO.

I know I mention Write Gear in almost every post – but i’m really not sponsored by them or anyone else promise… They just happen to¬†be¬†exactly what the fountain pen community in South Africa needs.

Hope some of you found this useful. Hmmm, wonder if there will ever be enough interest for group buys in SA.

M

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Sheaffer Red

Sup – lol I haven’t used that word in ages… can’t decide if it makes me sound gangster, old, or just plain sad. Most probably be the later as i seriously doubt I’ll ever be able to pull ‘gangster’ off.

Moving on, today I will be reviewing Sheaffer red – I must say this ink really surprised me. My past experience with reds has been disappointing, before buying a sample of Sheaffer Red I had already tried: Lamy Red, Pelikan Red and Edelstein Ruby and while all of them where technically red, they where not the red I had envisioned.

I wanted RED not pink-y red, not orange-y red, not brown-y red. I wanted a pure deep dark saturated red… This ink is defiantly a pure red – not washed out, not pink-y and defiantly not muted.

In fact this could be my perfect red if only it was darker – the darkest part of the ink splat is perfection.

 

Sheaffer Red Ink Splat

Sheaffer Red Ink Splat

This ink is an almost identical colour to the Red Bic clickable pens. While my personal colour preference veers more to the dark and vampy, if someone where to ask me to pick a red that embodied valentines day – it would have to be this one.

 

Sheaffer Red Ink Review

Sheaffer Red Ink Review

Sheaffer Red vs Bic

Sheaffer Red vs Bic

Water resistance is non-existent, but on the bright side it was a breeze to clean.

Close up

Close up

This ink also wrote beautifully Рand kept up with my flex writing surprisingly well. I must say  Sheaffer may not have many colour options, but every Sheaffer ink I have tried, has been a pleasure to write with and very easy to clean out of my pens.

Close Up Writing Sample

Close Up Writing Sample

 

Moleskine Sheaffer Red Doodle

Moleskine Sheaffer Red Doodle

This ink can be found here ūüėČ

Sheaffer Red Bottle: http://writegear.co.za/product/sheaffer-skrip-ink-bottle-red-50ml/

Sheaffer Red Sample: http://writegear.co.za/product/sheaffer-skrip-ink-sample-vial-red-3ml/

Have you found your perfect red yet?

M

 

 

 

Ink Swop

Happy New Year!!!

2015 РHow crazy is that?

So I know I have been MIA for a while – but work has been insane… But hopefully i’m back to at least once a week. (hopefully)

So I have always been a bit jealous of the fountain pen community in America, they have this amazing network where people can do group buys and more importantly ink swops.

For those who of you who don’t spend an¬†obscene¬†amount of time on the Fountain Pen Network, ink swop allows you to advertise which inks you have currently available and request certain inks you are willing to swop them for. This in general is done in an equal quantity or based on the price of the ink. So you could swop 5ml of Sheafer Red for 5ml of Noodlers Green, or you could swop 3ml of Edelstien Ruby for 6ml of Lamy Blue. This is all decided between you and the person you doing the swop with, but you get the idea.

So a HUGE, MASSIVE, OVER THE TOP shout out to Jamie Ternent ūüėČ – we were emailing about certain inks when he suggested an ink swop. Now I may have a slight(*ahem*) Noodlers obsession and he had two colours I was actually dying to try. Needles to say I became a ridiculously happy, human shaped bouncing ball. (You know it’s bad when your boss asks if you need to take leave…) Don’t judge I was happy okay – not only was this my first ink swop but I was getting to try some inks that are truly difficult to acquire here.

I ended up with the following samples:

Noodlers Ottoman Azure, Noodlers Antietam, Mont Blanc Toffee Brown, Mont Blanc Oyster Grey, Mont Blanc Irish Green and Diamine Oxblood.

Ink Swop

Ink Swop ūüôā

As mentioned work has been super busy, so I haven’t even had a chance to try them all out properly. ;( ¬†I will publish reviews of all of them in the near future though.

Here are some quick swabs:

Ink Swabs and Vials

Ink Swabs and Vials

Close Up of Ink Swabs

Close Up of Ink Swabs

Noodlers Antietam Doodle

Noodlers Antietam Doodle

Noodlers Ottoman Azure Doodle

Noodlers Ottoman Azure Doodle

Incomplete Mont Blanc Oyster Grey Doodle

Incomplete Mont Blanc Oyster Grey Doodle

PS: If you follow Write Gear on¬†Instagram you will see that they have¬†just received some Diamine inks!! A first in S.A as far as I am aware – and these ¬†inks are amazing. Thoughts: Super excited, wishing I was a millionaire, ‘I cannot believe they even have the limited editions’ and lastly I want, I want, I want!

Check it out here: http://instagram.com/p/xqoh13sDj5/?modal=true

PPS: How genius is the ink card idea?? http://instagram.com/p/xg9cIjMDrs/?modal=true

M